What Can You Drink with Stomach Ulcer

Stomach ulcer symptoms can sometimes be very bothersome. The disease may also cause complications (if poorly controlled /left untreated). What you eat does have a role to cope with — certain foods /drinks may aggravate the symptoms. On the flip side, some foods and drinks can help keep the symptoms off and improve your recovery. With appropriate strategies, the disease is manageable and even curable though it may take more time than you think.

So, what can you drink with stomach ulcer?

When it comes to stomach ulcer diet, foods and drinks with ‘bad’ label probably are overwhelming. Alcohol, caffeine, and even a few fruits (grapefruit and orange juices) are not recommended. Most all things that trigger more stomach acid production are bad with stomach ulcer.

This could be frustrating situation. Meanwhile, it’s also important to manage your stress as well since stress may worsen your stomach ulcer symptoms.

The good news, there are many options to enjoy your drinks without hurting the open sore of your stomach lining. Here are a few examples.

Plant-based milk

A few decades ago, people thought that drinking milk would soothe the stomach and relieve ulcer symptoms. But now we know that it’s not always true. Milk might ease the symptoms for a few minutes, but it also drives more production of stomach acid afterwards, making the open sore of the stomach lining hurt worse.

Today, milk is not recommended for people with gastritis and peptic ulcers, though some experts say it is fine in moderation (1-serving or two a day probably is OK, this might vary from person to person). But if you find it’s a trigger of your flare-up, avoid it! In such case, you need milk alternatives.

The following plant-based milk could be your best alternative choice.

  1. Coconut milk. Choose alkaline coconut oil, derived from fresh coconut. Coconut milk derived from dried coconut is likely acidic.
  2. Soy milk. As the name suggests, it’s made from legumes ‘soy beans’. Unlike most legumes, soy beans are likely alkaline or neutral.
  3. Almond milk. Both almond and almond milk are alkaline, according to the American College of Healthcare Science [1]. It’s relatively safe for most people.

For more in-depth information, see also best milks for people with gastritis and acid reflux!

Free-fat yogurt

Stomach ulcers occur for various reasons. The main one is due to bacterial infection caused by H. pylori, though not all people with H. pylori develop ulcers. Here yogurt might have a role to treat the underlying cause of the disease.

Yogurt is a fermented product containing good bacteria (probiotics) and healthy nutrients (e.g. protein and calcium). One study suggests that yogurt might help fight off H. pylori alongside medication therapy of multiple antibiotics [2]. Active cultures of probiotics found in yogurt may help improve the ability of the body to remove ‘unfriendly’ bacteria in the stomach.

Also, some yogurts contain Igy-urease antibody which is also probably helpful to treat stomach ulcers [3].

Since people with ulcers need to lower their dietary fats, low /free fat yogurts are your best bet. High amounts of fat intake will trigger more stomach acid production and hurt open sores, making the disease get worse and take longer to heal.

Herbal tea

Some herbal teas may help improve your ulcer symptoms such as gas & bloating, nausea, and heartburn (GERD). For better results, caffeine-free herbal tea is more recommended – but don’t choose peppermint or spearmint teas since they are bad for your stomach acid control.

Try marshmallow, licorice, chamomile, or slippery elm. Some herbal teas might help boost the mucus coating of your esophageal lining, which is good to soothe heartburn.

If you’re taking certain prescription medications, ask your doctor first to keep safe. Because some herbs might interfere with your medications!

Ginger tea

It’s well-established that ginger has medicinal properties for various ailments. In fact, it has a very long history of use in numerous forms of traditional medicine.

Gingerol, a substance found in ginger, is probably the key answer. This potent substance is responsible for the unique flavor and fragrance of ginger. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory [4].

Ginger naturally prevents upset stomach, soothes stomach lining, and also may help neutralize /reduce stomach acid production. Ginger tea (caffeine-free is preferred), with a little sweetener (try honey), is a good way to soothe acid reflux and ulcer symptoms.

But don’t choose ginger ale! It doesn’t have enough ginger to provide an effect. Even it contains caffeine and even carbonated, which is bad for people with ulcers.

Coconut water

Not only coconut milk, it’s usually OK to drink coconut water with stomach ulcers. Coconut water is tasty and refreshing – plus, it’s loaded with several important nutrients including electrolytes and antibacterial properties. That’s why it has become a foxy, trendy beverage in recent years.

Its electrolyte properties promote pH balance in your body. This can help manage your stomach acid level, which is so helpful to soothe stomach ulcer symptoms.

Try to get 100% coconut water that comes directly from the coconut. If it’s hard to get fresh coconut, try bottled coconut water that you can buy at most grocery stores – but make sure it’s free of flavoring agents!

Yummy juices and smoothies

While it’s bad to drink citrus and pineapple juices with ulcers, other fruit juices are OK as long as they are less acidic. A few good options include; aloe, carrot, avocado, spinach, watermelon, or pear juices.

The same goes for smoothies. Look for low-acid fruits, and combine with nutrient-dense vegetables such as kale, wheatgrass, and spinach. Also, add sugar as low as possible. Although sugar doesn’t aggravate ulcer symptoms, too much sugar consumption may cause upset stomach.

Water

The pH of water is 7, neutral. It is one of the best ways to maintain the pH balance of your body, including stomach. Drinking water is the simplest way to help dilute your stomach acid.

So always drink enough water every day! Even drinking at least 1/2 gallon (about 8 cups) of water daily is important when your stomach ulcer flares up.

More tips

The way you drink your beverages matters, too. Even though what you drink is Ok with stomach ulcer, it might become counterproductive and cause negative reaction if you drink it in inappropriate ways. Here are a few tips:

  1. Sit with a straight back when drinking. This is important to avoid acid reflux.
  2. Never drinking or eating late at night!
  3. Don’t drink an extreme amount or too fast!
  4. Keep hydrated, drink enough water throughout the day!

See also, stomach ulcer diet restrictions!

However, not all beverages affect everyone the same way — there is no single formula for everyone! Still, you may need to learn which ones that really have an effect on your stomach ulcer symptoms.

Resources:

  1. https://achs.edu/mediabank/files/achswellnessguide.pdf
  2. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/4/864.abstract
  3. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/news/20090320/new-yogurt-fights-stomach-ulcers
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25230520